Running a restaurant has drastically changed in the past year alone. From embracing new operational models to capture off-premise sales like delivery and pickup, to building new spaces to accommodate outdoor dining and on-premise orders, restaurants have experienced more change in one year than most industries experience in a decade.
While restaurants across the country have begun to resume outdoor and indoor dining, there remains uncertainty over the best way to successfully run an on-premise dining operation, especially one that is contactless and able to turn respectable profits under capacity restrictions.
So we've gone ahead and put a list together, in no particular order, featuring the 3 things you need to run a profitable, lean, and safe dining operation today.
#1 - Digital Mobile Menus
Let's start with one of the most important parts of any restaurant - your menu! It's easy to forget how important a menu can be - it's not just a list of your offerings, it's a representation of your story, the driver of sales, and perhaps your most valuable piece of marketing material. A menu defines a restaurant and hints at the guest experience.
But menus too have changed, especially for on-premise guests. Disposable printed menus have generally been abandoned due to high costs and other operational pains. Many restaurants have decided to host their menu online by uploading PDF menus. But PDF menus are not responsive, making it hard for guests to read and navigate and difficult for restaurants to change and re-upload.
That's why our list starts with Digital Mobile Menus. These are menus that are designed specifically for viewing on a phone. They'll save you hundreds on printing and drastically improve the guest ordering experience compared to PDFs.
Even better, some digital mobile menus, like the ones we offer at TableTab, come with menu management dashboards so you can make instant, real-time menu changes anytime, anywhere. With TableTab's mobile menus, you can:
- Save $300+ monthly on printing costs
- Reduce time spent managing your menu 10x
- Improve the guest experience
#2 - Dynamic QR Codes
This is probably the most popularly-used item on this list. QR codes are everywhere. Especially with restaurants, QR codes are used to direct guests towards a specific link, such as your website or your online ordering platform.
Restaurants that use PDF menus or mobile menus as previously listed should have a QR code at the table so guests can access the menu itself. While QR codes were confusing to some 12 months ago, they are now common practice.
If you plan to use a digital menu, you have to invest in QR codes. The problem is, lots of new companies charge businesses for use of their QR codes, either a monthly fee to use their software, or a fee per scan. Do not use these companies.
The reality is that QR codes are free to create - companies charge fees because they claim to make it easy for you to create and manage a QR code. But why pay for something you can have for free?
TableTab's dashboard, used to manage your digital mobile menus (listed above), also comes with QR code management, for free. We do everything other paid QR code softwares do, but at no cost. Via TableTab you can:
- generate as many QR codes as you like and label each one (such as a Table #)
- view and copy the link associated to a QR code for those unable to scan (or if you want to share the link online for direct access to your menu)
- download QR codes directly from the dashboard
Again - these are simple features, yet most companies charge for them. You can use TableTab's dashboard to create QR codes that link to your TableTab-powered digital mobile menu, website, or any other destination.
#3 - Contactless Mobile Payment
Contactless mobile payment is the true game-changer in this list. Yes, digital mobile menus are important to save money and improve the ordering experience. And yes, QR codes are needed if you are to use a digital menu.
But with contactless mobile payment, you open your business to a world of opportunity.
Contactless mobile payment means your guest can pay for their meal through their phone. From a purely sanitary standpoint, it's a great way to handle payment without spreading germs and putting people at risk.
But fewer realize the operational opportunity that comes with contactless mobile payment - the complete elimination of transacting payment. By letting guests pay on their own, you can save on labor and generate more sales, in addition to staying healthy.
To be clear, contactless mobile payment does not take away from a service-oriented dining experience; rather, mobile payment adds to it. By eliminating an already frustrating and time-consuming part of the dining experience - paying! - guests don't have to wait for their check, servers don't have to run to the POS, and therefore your staff can spend more time facilitating quality experiences for guests.
But finding a contactless mobile payment solution can be tough. There's a lot of options out there, and it can be stressful to navigate and invest in something with so much operational upside.
Thankfully, this is where TableTab can help most.
You know those digital mobile menus we mentioned at the top of this list? Yes, well, via the TableTab dashboard, you can activate mobile payment directly in those menus. Literally - it's just one button tap away.
Our mobile payment is super straightforward - guests pay for what they order through your TableTab-powered digital menu. If their payment information is correct (we automatically check), then that order is sent to your staff. We open a tab for the guest so they can continue ordering the second they feel like it, and all orders are tabulated under one consolidated ticket to make life easy for your staff. When the guest is done, we close their tab automatically and send the funds to you.
TableTab - The Complete Contactless Package
You might notice an admittedly obnoxious trend here: TableTab offers everything on this list - digital mobile menus, dynamic QR codes, and contactless mobile payment.
While you can use TableTab to only host a beautiful version of your menu, or to only generate QR codes, TableTab is most powerful when you combine our menu and QR codes with our ability to capture payments.
By using TableTab for all three items listed above, you can adopt a complete, all-in-one solution to manage a successful contactless dining operation. Such an operation will allow you to:
- Save money on labor
- Increase spending per seat
- Maintain a contactless yet service-oriented operation
Don't take it from us though, here's what some of our partners have to say:
- "TableTab allows us to serve guests safely mainly by cutting out payment transaction. Guests can also see the photos on menu which is hard to do on paper everyday. Cherry on top is that the team has impeccable service."
- Yuka, Co-Owner at Cassava
- "During the pandemic, we can only provide outdoor dining. TableTab keeps us and our guests a safe distance to ensure our safety. It saves a lot of time and work for placing orders. I highly recommend TableTab."
- Eric & Iris, Owners at Kio Ramen
- "We appreciate [TableTab's] attention to detail and creative approach to bringing our ordering and payment system right when we needed it most...customers can easily view our menu and order off their phone. They even included contactless payment which saves time for customers and staff working. It was easy to use from the very start. Customers also seem to love the self-ordering system and has resulted in more repeat visits."
- Tony, Owner at Eat Americana
- “With TableTab, it feels like providing a private dining experience to each party.”
- Alan, Head Server at Cassava
Take the Next Step
Interested in trying out TableTab for digital mobile menus, QR codes, contactless pay, or the complete package?
If you're not ready to create an account and want more info, we have options:
- Learn more on our website: https://tabletab.io
- Schedule a time to chat, ask questions, or run through a demo: click here
- Email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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